Tiv bans traditional marriage festivities, peg expenses at N100,000

The Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC) in Benue State has banned the practice of holding festivities in the house of a bride’s parents during traditional marriages on the ground that such party-like activities are alien to their culture.

Also, the council has pegged total expenses on marriage including dowry or bride price as well as sundry issues which at the moment vary from one community or family to another not to exceed N100,000 in any part of Tivland.


This decision was contained in a communique issued at the end of the General Assembly (Ijirtamen) of the Tiv nation held at the TATC Chambers on Friday, August 17, 2018 and was chaired by the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse.

“The practice of holding festivities in the house of the girl’s parents popularly known as Traditional Marriage involving cutting of cake, dances, parties should be discontinued as it is alien to the Tiv way of life. Celebration of a new wife is done by the Tiv People only in the husband’s house.


“Love should be the primary issue between the families concerned in marriage discussion and transaction but not money. Therefore, total expenses on marriage including dowry or bride price (kem kwase) and all sundry issues (Azaan a kwase) which at the moment vary from one community or family to another should not exceed One hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) in Tivland,” the communique stated.

It added that traditional marriage ceremony where bride price is to be paid shall involve only the elders of the two families concerned, stressing that the practice of inviting and bringing large numbers of friends and well-wishers to the occasion is alien to Tiv tradition and therefore abolished.

The council maintained that any Tiv girl to be given out in marriage must attain the age of 18 years and above as it stressed that the violation of the marriage tradition shall attract boycott by traditional rulers and elders and the denial of traditional marriage registration, including other traditional sanctions as the community may deem appropriate.

Reacting to the development, Ter Makurdi, Chief Joseph Sule Abenga, in a chat with newsmen in Makurdi at the weekend, posited that the change would encourage young men to marry ladies of their choice without much stress and thereby reducing incidences of elopement due to high bride price.

Meanwhile, the General Assembly was attended by traditional rulers of the Tiv Area Traditional Council, 14 Chairmen of the Tiv speaking Local Government Councils in the state, chieftaincy holders, the executive committee of Mzough u Tiv, Governor Samuel Ortom and the interested public.

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